U.S. President Donald Trump wants to push German carmakers out of the U.S. and to never see another Mercedes-Benz rolling down New York's Fifth Avenue, Reuters quotes German magazine Wirtschaftswoche.
A source told the Associated Press that the president suggested seeking new tariffs of 20 to 25 percent on automobile imports. Combined with other German products imported into the US, that amounts to a trade deficit of 23.8 billion euros (about $27.8 billion). Macron pledged the riposte can be "agency" and "proportionate" and consistent with World Commerce Group guidelines. The move prompted an outcry from US lawmakers as well as the foreign auto companies. The president is gearing up to block German luxury carmakers from the USA market, according to the report.
But more than 800,000 of those German cars were built in the USA a year ago.
Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz have factories in the U.S., although high-end and specialty models, such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class that irks the President, are imported.
Donald Trump, who is said to have owned several Mercedes-Benz vehicles, allegedly wants to ban German cars from United States roads.
Mercedes-Benz, a brand of Daimler, made more than 286,000 vehicles at its Tuscaloosa, Alabama, plant in 2017, according the company's website. Germany is now the top European auto exporter, with more than 650,000 vehicles being imported to the U.S. in 2017.
The Trump administration has opened a trade investigation into whether vehicle imports have damaged the USA auto industry. In return, all three promised to retaliate with tariffs of their own on billions of dollars worth of US goods.
GM's Cadillac brand, like Ford's Lincoln, could certainly use some help.
But plans to target German automakers could be costly and potentially harmful to the American economy, according to experts. And a sizable number of Congressional Republicans - who have, until now, generally declined to oppose Trump policies and positions - are raising the specter of trying to block any auto trade tariffs enacted under the Trade Expansion Act.